SpeculativeFiction


Magic's Promise


Vanyel Ashkevron, Herald-Mage of Valdemar, has faced the worst that the world can throw at him. Karsite demons, enemy mages, creatures from the Pelagirs; he has faced and defeated them all. The bards he once aspired to join now sing songs of his exploits to a rapt nation. Young women worship his image while fearing to approach a legend. Even his teacher, Savil, acknowledges that Vanyel's talents have exceeded her own in many areas. There is only one threat that Vanyel has yet to face: his family.

After spending most of a year replacing five separate Herald-Mages on the Karsite border in wartime, Vanyel is due a vacation, and the damage he inflicted upon the Karsite mages has given Valdemar enough breathing space to allow just that.  But waiting for him at the capital city of Haven is a letter from his family, inviting him to make the visit he has been putting off for so long.  But even his fame and heroism have not reconciled Vanyel with his family.  Now openly shay'a'chern (gay), his family refuses to accept his nature -- not that it lies comfortably within Vanyel either.

Vanyel is in desperate need of a rest.  If he remains at court, inevitably a crisis will arise to which he must be assigned.  But he fears that his family will be little more restful.  With his father refusing to accept his nature, his mother throwing pretty maids at him in an attempt to change it, the armsmaster whose childhood beatings did so much damage to Vanyel's spirit waiting in the wings, and a newly-chosen young conservative firebrand of a priest to top it all off, "quiet" is not a word likely to describe the Ashkevron household.  Vanyel has faced down demons, but can he survive his own family?

Magic's Promise is the second book in Mercedes Lackey's The Last Herald-Mage trilogy.  It's actually the first Lackey book that I read; I remember finding it in a library, without the preceding or following volumes.  I read it through and was fairly confused by a number of inadequately-explained elements of the world, but was nonetheless captivated by the exquisite characterization of Vanyel, his family, and the other involved characters.  I don't think I even realized it was the 2nd book in a trilogy for a while, but as soon as I did, I hunted down the rest.

This novel, and the trilogy of which it is a part, come very highly recommended.

This entry was published Sat Aug 13 20:55:36 CDT 2005 by Matthew and last updated 2018-06-27 01:08:07.0.

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